"Replacing the original DVI... accessories label, Made In Shoreditch Somewhere (aka Miss), is a mix between 'Audrey Hepburn' vintage and pure punk rock. Daring and different, the label offers cloth-based accessories embellished with an array of different media. Its key look is achieved through the mixed use of tweed, cashmere, and wool fabrics, appliqued lace, beading, and chains, some of which linked by hand."
(via the RNCWatch)
Imagine Rendezvous but think a bike instead of a ferrari and a camera on a helmet instead of a bumper, New York instead of Paris, and you have a feel for drag race NYC (mpg4 50MB - via). Made by Lucas Brunelle, his other bike videos are here.
"The on-again-off-again prostitute with streaked pixieish hair looks less like a hooker than a bartender at Galapagos - which made her ideal for one politically charged client last year. He’d asked her to show up at his apartment wearing a black hoodie with patches and no perfume or deodorant. I said, ‘Do you want me to dress like a protester?,’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’ He tied me down, spanked me, and wanted to yell at me a lot. He said, ‘You bad girl! You smashed the Starbucks!’ He was a very conservative Wall Street banker, and he basically wanted to fuck the movement."
"As a sign of respect towards the Baldoni family and of protest towards the shameful and violent irreverence of the media with regards to the suffering and dignity of others, I propose that over the coming days the TV is turned off each time a news item on the Baldoni case is broadcast... I remind both myself and others that, as Enzo Baldoni also demonstrated, to watch the news on TV does not mean accessing serious information, which can certainly be found elsewhere."
I couldn't agree more.
How sad to discover a voice rich in humour and empathy when it can no longer sing. How tragic when yet another life is violently brought to a premature end as the result of the ongoing obscenity in Iraq. How disgusting to witness the vultures of mainstream media feasting on the pain shaking his family.
I'm now reading through his Iraq blog. Baldoni was a storyteller. His words hint at a man who perspired curiosity and a desire for justice. While a westerly wind on an Italian hill brought memories and philosophy, and perhaps a premonition:
"E' tornato. E' tornato il momento di partire. Da un po' di tempo la solita vocina insistente tra la panza e la coratella mi ripeteva: "Baghdad! Baghdad! Baghdad!". Ho dovuto cedere. Come sempre, quando si prepara un viaggio importante, cominciano a grandinare le coincidenze. E chissà quanto sono segni e quanto le provochiamo noi.
Ancora una volta, prima di una partenza, mi sono sdraiato sotto le stelle, nella Romagna dei miei nonni e della mia infanzia, in cima a Monte Bora, sulla terra notturna ancora calda del sole di luglio. La terra, sotto, mi riscaldava il corpo. La brezza, sopra, lo rinfrescava. Lucciole, profumo di fieno tagliato, il canto di milioni di grilli. E' qui che da piccolo studiavo spagnolo su un libro trovato in soffitta. E' qui, davanti a un piatto di tagliatelle, che tre anni fa si è fatta sentire la solita vocina che ripeteva: "Colombia, Colombia, Colombia!"
Si è parlato molto di morte in questi giorni: della morte serena di Zio Carlo, filosofo e yogi, che forse sapeva la data del suo trapasso. Guardando il cielo stellato ho pensato che magari morirò anch'io in Mesopotamia, e che non me ne importa un baffo, tutto fa parte di un gigantesco divertente minestrone cosmico, e tanto vale affidarsi al vento, a questa brezza fresca da occidente e al tepore della Terra che mi riscalda il culo. L'indispensabile culo che, finora, mi ha sempre accompagnato"
Pregnant in multi-culture and myth, histories of art, tangents off trends of today down the robotic curves of tomorrow: the artwork of Heidi Taillefer.
Hot off the quicktime player my first taste of revogging leaves me spellbound: Revenge is a 58-second short film made with the remixed material of three videobloggers and a voice overlay in story sequence.
Tutto fa brodo (everything makes soup), is an old Italian saying and my oblique introduction to the BOP-C's anti-republican convention cloudbuster project:
"On Thursday, September 2nd, for several hours prior to and during George Bush’s re-nomination ceremony, the Brooklyn Orgastic Politics Collective (BOP-C) will be conducting Orgone operations with several of our Cloudbusters, attempting to suck the fascism from the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden. From an undisclosed location on the Brooklyn waterfront, we will be redirecting the flow of Life Energy above the deadly concentrations of hatred and greed accumulating in midtown Manhattan. If indeed our theories prove correct, it may be possible to reduce the entire convention floor to a quivering Saturnalia. The moans of Love shall ring out across the Land".
Charles Bukowski would have been a grand dirty old man of 84 a couple of days ago. What the heck if I'm late. Any excuse to crack open a beer and crank up the radio, before throwing it out of a closed window in a drunken, repeated act. Head down to the horseraces. Get lost somewhere between Hollywood and Vine, drinking cheap German wine.
(stumbled into this image here)
Urbanscapes and people and still-life populate the photography of Julia Fullerton-Batten, merging a commercial hyperreal element with a sharp dreamlike quality and dense details that slither into stories.
Raubkopierer sind verbrecher: those that make illegal copies are criminals.
Nearshore: the latest call centre outsourcing trend.
"whisper[s] are wearable body architectures that read physiological data and transmit this information through graphics, sounds or haptics. Our aesthetic is deliberately ambiguous, almost a ‘reconstructed feminine’ but with hard edges; it is a juxtaposition of what seems like the ‘soft organic’ with the ‘soft & hard inorganic’. Fashion, for us, is vastly innovative and seductive. Prosthetics are creepily creative. The opulent is fundamentally not about cost but about sensuality. Skin is the richest source of inspiration: marked, mapped, extended, exposed, nurtured, celebrated"
Whisper is a Mesh Performance Practices project/collaboration.
A poster campaign seen on the streets of Spain describes how the sharing of illegal content on the internet is a crime punished even with prison sentences.
Ahora la ley actua: the law is now enforced! is the tagline, while a telephone number allows for anonymous informants to grass on their neighbours. No explanation is given to what actually constitutes illegal content.
It was last Saturday. Moving images on TV news showed columns of cars at a standstill on motorways across Italy. It was estimated that nine million Italians were trying reach their holiday destination, on their way to join million others.
It was around lunchtime. Outside it was sweltering hot. Marianna was teaching herself a video editing software. Eva Maria was playing with plastic horses. Church bells rang behind closed shutters as TV voices filtered through the half-closed bedroom door bringing talk of summer reading. Books for those that read only at the beach. Once a year.
The bibliophile that resides within me sprawled out on a chaise-lounge jumped up and said: "I want that book we saw online yesterday. It sounds so scrumptious".
So Eva Maria and I braved the early afternoon heat and drove from Pavia into Milan, left the car at Famagosta where we first caught the Dipsy line and then the Po line (colours are Teletubbies in my daughter's eyes) and got off the tube at the Gothic splendour of the Duomo, festooned with tourists and teenagers and immigrant workers enjoying a day off, in order to reach one of only 12 bookshops across the world to stock it.
The journey was worthwhile. The book is a visual and tactile delight, thanks to the use it makes of 4 different types of paper spread across 276 pages that "change shape and layer like browser windows. (And) 330 Artworks (that) interweave, hyperlink, and flow". Limited to 1200 copies! All of which have been lovingly printed and collated, glued, stapled, and taped, and then mechanically perfect-bound in a hardcover.
But enough of the book-geek praise.
Beyond the experience, and aside from its contents, what did bring an enormous smile to my face was this idea of a book changing "shape and layer like a browser". The web reinterpreted on paper, when the internet was supposed to banish books to history (remember those predictions? remember the paperless office?). A small, humble, solid reminder that the future is always there for the making, and never turns out how we think.
This is Compendium #3: chaos happens* also made me revisit past online issues of This is a magazine - which I'd stumbled upon in the past, without paying much attention. Maximum respect to Karen Ann Donnachie and Andy Simionato for the hard work, the dedication and much passion they put in to this ongoing project. I leave the last paragraph to a quote of theirs I came across:
"To continue the experiments into print is a natural step, so much of print design today is influenced by the internet anyway. We look at print anologies to internet art, for example moving pixels can be confetti dropped into the pages, or flashing images become fluo inks, sometimes we simply want to be able to touch the pixels, that's why we move back and forth between video and print."
"In his act, Sex Addict, he trawls Gaydar, the gay internet site, in front of a live audience, looking for a man with whom to have sex. The audience votes who he should pick. He then cycles off to whichever part of Edinburgh he has been summoned, has sex, and then reports back on the experience to the following night's audience... He calls the show "reality theatre". "Some friends and I were looking at the site [Gaydar] and wondered if it would work in front of a theatre audience. The show came first. The fact that it also has a publicity angle is a byproduct... I like reality TV; real people are so much more complex than the characters who are allowed to appear in TV drama."
Ratings triumph for Nadia and Big Brother - sex, fights and a Portuguese transsexual give TV show that started as a 'harmless little social experiment' a new lease of life:
"This was the year Big Brother got evil. After last year's forgettable show and disappointing viewing figures, the producers had to plug the hole in a sinking ship. And despite poorer initial ratings than last year, the viewing figures this series peaked at 7.7m. The programme-makers' solution had been to attract viewers with conflict. They tossed in a bunch of people who were designed not to get on. There was everything in there - from lesbian anarchy to chauvinism and misogyny, homosexuality and homophobia; there was ambition and ambivalence, stupidity by the bucket load, bigotry and racism, plainness, beauty and vanity. It's a freakshow, shouted the headlines, and they seemed about right."
Risky Business - HIV, gonzo and other porn tales from the San Fernando Valley:
"The crisis that confronts the business is not to do with the body but the soul. It's an existential malaise that in truth extends beyond the San Fernando Valley into all corners of the consumer-driven world. In many respects, the plotless cul-de-sac that has been reached in the Valley is a fable of our times. What happens when you finally come up against the limit? What happens when there is no more more?"
Fun with videophones: the hookup. As the online blurb goes this is a "live, interactive reality spectacle using (or mis-using) the marvels of video phone technology...our two contestants hop from bar to bar trying to score...the imagery is sent back to the gallery via videophones and you, the audience, decides what happens next!".
Sit back, do nothing and read the virtue of idleness:
"Greatness and late rising are natural bedfellows. Late rising is for the independent of mind, the individual who refuses to become a slave to work, money, ambition. In his youth, the great poet of loafing, Walt Whitman, would arrive at the offices of the newspaper where he worked at around 11.30am, and leave at 12.30 for a two-hour lunch break. Another hour's work after lunch and then it was time to hit the town."
There isn't much talk about Atkins in Italy. Marianna says it's a carb conspiracy led by the captains of mediterranean culinary culture, the bread and pasta and pizza-makers. There might be the odd article in diet magazines, but they get little visibility, filed away between ice-cream and watermelon diet plans. On the other hand, while we were in California earlier this summer, table talk often reverted around Doctor Atkins, instead of the lasagne made one's grandmother. The social life of food, you may say. And like all things social, it's marinated in history. Which is why I enjoyed the scholarly take on Atkins and co. offered by science historian Steven Shapin in this article. Here's a particularly protein rich taster:
"... In this respect,the Atkins diet is a curious cousin to the organic and Slow Food movements, and, indeed, to aspects of vegetarianism. Obesity, and such related conditions as type-2 diabetes, are, in the Atkins cosmology, diseases of the special civilisation that makes and markets refined carbohydrates. The result of all this making and marketing is addiction. The appetites are perverted; a monstrously hybrid self is produced, whose appetites are parsed between the natural and the unnatural, the ones to be gratified and the ones to be disciplined and eliminated. And the unnaturalness of that self is an internalising of the bad order of society - what the Yale psychologist and obesity expert Kelly Brownell has catchily called 'a toxic environment'. A bad society makes bad food and bad food makes badly motivated and badly functioning people. This sensibility is important enough to have made it into The Simpsons. In 'Sweets and Sour Marge', when it is determined that Springfield is the fattest town in America, Marge goes on a crusade against the sugar companies, which have turned the citizens into obese zombies. She wins a class-action toxic tort suit against 'Big Sugar' but 'Marge's Law' is soon subverted. When Homer himself becomes a sugar bootlegger, Marge realises she can't win against the dark forces of carb-addiction and gives up."
(The epilogue as dessert: I just noticed that this article has been blogged over at boing boing, with the exact same quote. Which leads me wonder: what are the ingredients of an appetizing post? Having said that, here in northern Italy it's nearly lunchtime. I'm off for a plate of pasta.)
Following my post yesterday, I emailed the museum asking to confirm or deny comments made by “La Voz de Aztlan”. The director of the museum, Joe Felz, was most graceful in replying promptly and sending me a press release issued on August 5. I reprint most of it here:
"The first article (in “La Voz de Aztlan”), written in the form of an open letter to me, alleged the Museum’s press release stated the exhibit would contain an artwork by Alma Lopez which the writer called “Guadalupe in a Bikini” (The actual title of the work in question, according to Ms. Lopez, is “Our Lady.”) The writer protested what he said was the inclusion of this artwork in our exhibit.
After reading the letter, I contacted Mr. Cienfuegos and told him the information he had published was inaccurate in that we were not - nor had we planned on - exhibiting the work in question. We were, in fact, planning to exhibit an entirely different work by Ms. Lopez titled “Maria de Los Angeles,” which honors a woman who has done much for the people of Los Angeles.
Rather than correcting his inaccurate article, Mr. Cienfuegos instead published a follow-up piece Aug. 3 which implied that, based on the information that he provided us, the “Lady” piece had been removed, and the Museum would “instead” exhibit “Maria de Los Angeles.” Again, this is a completely inaccurate statement on his part as the “Lady” piece was never considered for this exhibit.
The piece “Maria de Los Angeles” was selected months ago by our guest curator (Lynn LaBate) for inclusion in the exhibit. During the time she was researching possible artwork for the exhibit, our guest curator considered several of Ms. Lopez’ works, as well as works by numerous other artists. She eventually selected “Maria de Los Angeles” as the piece that best fit the curatorial themes in the exhibit".
Then I'm plunged into a pretty bleak present, when I come across this, which states that "the Fullerton Museum Center at Fullerton, California... will not be exhibiting the highly sacrilegious image" in an exhibition this August (2004). I try checking out the Museum's website for more info, but their server is down as I write.
Now, beyond my penchant for the intersection between the sacred and the profane in Catholic iconography and my belief in freedom of expression, if something is sacred that is a Catholic woman's right to explore the weight and meaning of the Madonna on her life and culture.
Now, the facts currently at my disposal are not enough to judge the reasoning behind the alleged removal of the image from the museum's upcoming "The Virgin of Guadalupe: Interpreting Devotion" exhibition. But if this is due to fundamentalist pressure, then counter-pressure is needed.